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Understanding the ITIL service strategy

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ITIL service strategy

Deploying ITSM framework or tool has become more important than ever before for myriads of companies. This is no longer limited to the MNCs alone or those belonging to IT sector exclusively! Numerous midsized companies have also started embracing IT service management tools. The companies in sectors like education, retail, and healthcare using diverse types of IT services also use ITSM frameworks heavily. There are various frameworks to use ITSM but the importance of ITIL cannot be overlooked. This is a popular and industry standard set of guidelines for deployment of ITSM in workplace scenarios to let companies reach their objectives.

The nuances of ITIL certifications

Managed by AXELOS, ITIL certification exams are what IT professionals sit for and such a certification let them widen career prospects. There are 5 levels of ITIL certification exams- each has specific scope and prospects for the candidates. The third level is known as ITIL Intermediate and this is aimed by corporate executives and IT professionals keen on enhancing skill set in ITSM.

ITIL service lifecycle

The ITIL service lifecycle comprise of 5 stages or practice areas that ITIL Intermediate level aspirants have to learn about. These are:

  • Service Strategy
  • Service Transition
  • Service Design
  • Continuous Service Improvement
  • Service Operation

ITIL Service Strategy

As depicted in ITIL Service Lifecycle diagram, The ITIL Service Strategy is the origin and center point of entire ITIL Service Management Lifecycle. The ITIL SS enables various organizations to support and deliver products and services in the best possible manner. The Service Strategy certification of ITIL is among 5 important Service Lifecycle modules that let you develop, design and deploy service provider strategy aligned to organizational strategy.

The ITIL SS module stresses on significance of strategic aspect of services in periphery of IT service lifecycle. When you master this, you become better equipped to analyze and handle IT service processes in the company with acquired knowledge and techniques. So, essentially ITIL service strategy is about making plans available for action.

While covering the Service strategy phase, you receive guidance and in depth knowledge in developing, designing and implementing aspects of ITSM. During Service Strategy phase, a company identifies its market. Its management team starts cost and risk analysis which helps in operational decision-making. With well planned strategies, the company can adopt a proactive and productive approach to business operations.

Important factors of ITIL Service strategy

There are a few factors of ITIL SS that you should know. These are:

  • Demand management – Managing demand for service may be crucial for success and growth of any company. Examples of supply getting exceeded by demand are aplenty, as it is. Improper handling of demand can be risky for the company selling service or products as it leads to uncertainty. Demand management is mostly about assessment and forecasting.
  • Business Relationship Management- BRM is a vital part of Service Strategy lifecycle. ITIL methodologies are used to ensure lasting and good relationship between customers and service providers. BRM process enables you to the power to differentiate between strategic requirements and business outcomes.
  • Financial management- Financial management is very important for any company deploying ITSM tools. It is about management of finance to attain company objectives in the best possible manner, without running into cost escalations. Without Financial management strategies in place, the company cannot keep running cost in control and make profits in long run.

Other areas include Service portfolio management and Strategy management for IT services.

Useful information about the Service strategy module 

The Service strategy module is a part of Intermediate level in ITIL certification. As per the ITIL Credit System, you need some credits to move into next phase sin the entire certification system. The SS module fetches you 3 credits. The Service Strategy certification is ideal for candidates working in following niches:

  • IT Finance management
  • IT management
  • Supplier Relationship management.

The different levels of ITIL certification are held in specific formats, and the duration and type are not the same across 5 levels. The Service strategy exam is held in closed book format and duration is one hour and thirty minutes. There are multiple choice type questions to answer and you will need 70% to clear this module.

Using the Service Strategy module in ITIL, companies can analyze and decide which services should be offered to specific type of customers and markets. The Service Strategy stage also explains the 4 Ps considered necessary for successful execution of the module- Pattern, Plan, Position and Perspective.

How ITIL Service Strategy focuses on customer requirements

To make the venture profitable, it is absolutely important that you understand the needs and wants of customers- whether it is for services or products. In alignment of entire ITIL Service Strategy to business strategy, you need to keep focus on creating value for the target customers. This is applicable for ITIL Service Strategy phase as well.

It is necessary to find out what the customers want along with things customers do not need. This may require customization of specific services, amendment of new processes in workflow, deletion of unviable processes etc. The results of analysis in Service Strategy phase of ITIL should be conveyed to the next stage – those handling ITIL Service Design phase. This will ensure customers get the values without facing unnecessary hurdles and complications.

Examples of ITIL Service Strategy being deployed in workplace scenarios

ITIL service strategies are adopted by myriads of organizations including those in NON IT sectors. The companies in sectors like banking, loan, insurance, healthcare, retail can gain by adoption of concepts of these strategies.

Below listed are two real life examples where deploying ITIL service strategies can be advantageous for the organizations.

  • ITILservice strategies can be extremely useful for banks offering diverse financial services to their customers. The customers avail these financial services and for these, they expect the least amount of time and steps to be taken from their side. These include making deposits, using net banking, withdrawing money from ATMS and transferring money from one account to remote accounts etc. However, they are not bothered about the background processes involved with such tasks. They pay a yearly fee for such services and hassle free execution is what they want. From a Fluid UI for mobile banking to flexibility in using ATMs to perform other tasks than money withdrawal- customers want more values. So, the banks need to develop and execute service strategies in ways that pose least obstacles to their customers for using such services.
  • In another example, think of the fact a bank is responsible for sending money to the ATMs. The safety and operational cost is the responsibility of the bank. In case, the money is looted while on way to ATM, it is not the customer’s fault. The customers will not accept the monetary deduction from their accounts to compensate for this. The bank should have strategies to handle such situations without affecting the customers in unexpected ways.

Summing it all up

So, ITIL Service Strategy is the stage where the ITIL Service Lifecycle kick starts. It is used to analyze and assess customer needs and adopt suitable measures to align ITSM goals to business goals.

 

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